Sindh has a wealth of traditional knowledge about indigenous flora and its utilization. Local population relies on medicinal plants for their health related matters. People used these medicinal plants on the basis of their own experience due to lacking of medicines, allopathic doctors, and fear of side effects associated with modern medicine.
During the period of 2010-2012, 24 districts of Sindh were surveyed and useful information about plant-based remedies was compiled in the form of monograph. During the survey of villages, midwives, old age women, and herbalist were interviewed by our team. Due to lack of understanding of Urdu and English languages, questionnaires were discussed in local language of Sindh. Questionnaires was designed to obtain information about the type of women diseases treated by plants, local name of plants, parts used, method of preparation, dosage forms, and mode of administration. Plant species identified in the survey were collected from herbalist of that village.
A total of one hundred and eight (108) plants were identified used for curing women disease. Acacia nilotica L. Willd. ex Delile, Allium cepa L., Allium sativum L., Amomum subulatum Roxb., Cannabis sativa L., Cocos nucifera L., Cuminum cyminum L., Elettaria cardamomum Maton., Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce., Lallemantia royleana Benth., Mentha piperita L., Origanum vulgare L., Phaseolus vulgaris L., Quercus infectoria Olivier., Salvia plebeia R. Brown., Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb., Terminalia chebula Retz., and Withania coagulans Dunal. were some important medicinal plant used for the treatment of menorrhagia, backache during menstruation, infertility, scanty menses etc. These plants were used alone or in combination with other plants or inorganic materials (rock salt, red earth, etc.). The preparation and methods of use were carefully recorded through interviews. Routes of administration of these herbal remedies were oral, anal, or vaginal. Some of these plants have shown very high potency against fungal infections in our lab based studies.
Myth regarding conceiving a male child with the help of herbal formulation was also practices by the ladies. These practices were also examined and documented.
Each ethnic culture has its own relationship with the environment and a medical knowledge that uses specific medicinal plant species. Countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America use traditional medicine (TM) to meet some of their primary health care needs. In industrialized countries, traditional medicines are becoming increasingly common as “Complementary” or “Alternative” medicines (CAM). Traditional medicinal practices are more valuable and are generally affordable, culturally acceptable and accessible.
Pakistan is a country diverse in geography, climate, flora and fauna and rich in history and culture. Pakistan’s diverse topography has permitted the survival of traditional knowledge related to medicinal plants. In Pakistan, about 6,000 plants were recorded as native or naturalized. Sindh, the second most populous province of Pakistan, is a blend of most developed and least developed regions with a population of over 35 millions and land area of 141,014 sq km. Sindh has a diversity of vegetation and the local population has always used medicinal plants for the treatment of various diseases throughout the history. The surrounding plants for these people form an integral part of their culture and the information about the plants is passed on from one generation to another through only oral folklore, although many times it is kept secret. These plants play a significant role in providing primary health care services to rural population in Sindh. They serve as therapeutic agents, as well as important raw materials for the manufacturing of traditional and modern medicines.
Traditional medicine is the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in maintenance of health, as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness. Herbal medicines include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products that contain as active ingredients, parts of plants, other plants materials, or combination.
Traditional medicines are not only used for the treatment of general diseases but also for the treatment of women specific health issues. This includes birth control, including abortion at initial stages, preventing conception, also to cure sterility or to enhance chances of conception. Plants are also used for curing widespread sexual diseases like gonorrhea (Sexually transmitted disease (STD), caused by having sex with an infected person), syphilis (Sexually transmitted disease), Chlamydia trachomatis (A bacterial infection which damages women reproductive system), vulvovaginal yeast infections by Candida albicans, dysmenorrhea (Painful menstruation), menorrhagia (Abnormally heavy and prolonged periods), amenorrhea (Absence of monthly periods), leucorrhea (Vaginal discharge), yeast diseases, premature menopause, sexual dysfunction, infertility, and to regularize periods etc. These traditional and herbal medicines also provide health care throughout the entire birth process, from pregnancy through conception to postpartum.
While most parts of the Sindh province have government funded clinics and basic health units, as well as privately-owned clinics and hospitals. However, adequately qualified female doctors are generally not available in most parts of the rural areas of Sindh. Equally important are social practices of people, living in rural areas, according to which women with specific diseases are often not taken to the hospitals for proper care. In most parts of the province, they are generally treated by family’s elder ladies or midwives by using medicinal plants and other household items or so-called kitchen pharmacy. Due to this, connectional knowledge of the use of plants has been accumulated over the years, which needs to be properly documented and scientifically evaluated.
In Sindh, no ethnobotanical study has been ever conducted regarding the folkwomen diseases, and the indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants as folk remedies is getting lost owing to migration from rural to urban areas, industrialization, rapid loss of natural habitat, access to modern medicine and changes in the lifestyle of people. In view of these, documentation of traditional uses of medicinal plants is an urgent matter as it is important to preserve the folk knowledge of the province before it vanishes. In an article “The healing Garden and Integrated Healthcare”, the Prince of Wales wrote, “True healing is a synergy that comes not by courtesy of medical diploma, or simply through plants. It lies in the hands and the hearts of us all-so we help to open people’s hearts once again to the remarkable healing possibilities that exist if we integrate our hearts with our minds and restore a sense of harmony with Mother Nature”. This clearly means that natural products can play a major role in the health and economy of the province of Sindh and world in general.
Following were the objectives of this study:
- To preserve the indigenous healing knowledge related to womenfolk diseases.
- To identify and record plant species used in folk medicines against women diseases.
- To compile authentic ethnobotanical information of folk medicinal practices in rural areas of Sindh, in the form of reports, databases and monographs.
- To conduct scientific evaluation of selected medicinal plants to ascertain their efficacy and safety.
- To establish a database of traditional knowledge to be used in protecting the knowledge-base and for further studies.
- To produce educational materials on traditional uses and along with the names of plants with the goal of promoting safe cultural practices.
- To look into possible economic opportunities in traditional and plant-based medicines.
Sindh, among the most ancient civilizations of the world, has a vast knowledge and long-standing tradition of the use of the plants for a variety of purposes. Therapeutic uses of plants have been recorded in many treatises, historical documents, and travelogues of ancient Sindh.
Rural Sindh is a place where plants are still used for the treatment of prevailing diseases. However, with the growing urbanization and changing life style, this knowledge base is shrinking and traditions are gradually disappearing with time. The project entitled, “Biomedical Studies and IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) Documentation of Medicinal Plants Used in the Treatment of Women Diseases in Sindh”, was envisaged to collect, document, and make public the rich ethnobotanic knowledge of Sindh. This is the first crucial step to preserve the traditional knowledge, to prevent its unlawful use by others, and to benefit from this knowledge by the systematic use of Science and Technology.
The content of this monograph is based on the valuable information collected during the first ever field-based ethnobotanic survey, conducted in all 24 districts of the province of Sindh during 2010-2013 by a multidisciplinary team of researchers and scientists.
BRIEF HISTORY OF SINDH
Sindh is regarded as among the oldest civilizations of the world, with the first known village settlement dating as far back as 7,000 BC. Sindh has been called various names over the centuries e.g. Sauvira, Mehran, Sindhudesh and Sindhu, mainly based on the original name of River Indus. This culture blossomed over several millennia and gave rise to Indus Valley civilization around 3,000 BC. The people of Sindh were as competent as the people of other civilizations of that times, such as Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamia, comparing in both size and scope, numbering nearly half a million inhabitants. It was a much civilized, tolerant and advanced society. In the well planned city of Mohen-jo-daro, there existed wide streets, paved and well designed drainage system. It is known that Indus valley civilization was trading with ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia through established shipping lanes. Several kings have conquered and ruled over Sindh, such as Persians Achaemenid Empire in 6th century B.C. In the late 300s BC, Sindh was conquered by mixed army led by Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great and they ruled for few decades. During the rule of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Budhist religion spread to Sindh. Muryan rule ended in 185 BC with the overthrow of the last king of the Sunga Dynasty. After that, Greek rule returned when Dmetrius I of Bactria led Greco-Bactrian invasion of India and annexed most of the north western lands, including Sindh. These ups and downs of history continued until 711 CE, when Mohammad Bin Qasim conquered Sindh. Arabs entered and spread Islam in the subcontinent. For this reason, Sindh is also regarded as Bab-ul-Islam (Gateway of Islam). Muslims ruled India for several hundred years until the British Armies conquered India and in 1947 the subcontinent was divided into two countries, Pakistan, and India and Sindh became the part of Pakistan.
Today’s Sindh is largely urbanized, with Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur being developed as large cosmopolitan cities. The economy, which was based on agriculture and livestock three decades ago, is now based on industrial production and value-added agricultural products. Sindh is the most urbanized and educated province of Pakistan, which serves as the economic hub of the nation, but economic disparity, growing difference in rich and poor and strong feudal system within the province, as well as stark differences in the development pattern, are among the most disturbing factors in the social fabric of the province.
TABLE 1 Area and Population of Districts of Sindh
|Sr. No.||Districts||Headquarters||Area (km²)||Population||Density
|Karachi (Central, East, Malir, South, West, Korangi)||Karachi||3,527||13,215,631||2,795|
|Naushahro Feroze||Naushahro Feroze||2,945||1,087,571||369|
|Tando Allahyar||Tando Allahyar||5,165||908,373||176|
|Tando Muhammad Khan||Tando Muhammad Khan||2,310||550,000||238|
FLORA OF SINDH
In Pakistan, about 6,000 plants have been recorded as native and naturalized. Sindh contains about 1,000 native species out of the total Pakistan flora. Sindh is mostly arid with scant vegetation except for the irrigated areas of the Indus Valley.
- Mango, date palms, banana, guava, orange, and chiku are the typical fruit-bearing trees.
- Papaya, chiko, and bail fruits trees are common in coastal areas.
- The mangroove forest of Indus delta has vegatation of Avicennia tomentosa (timmer) and Ceriops candolleana (chaunir) trees.
- Water lilies grow in abundance in the numerous lakes and ponds, particularly in the lower Sindh region. The dwarf palm, Acacia rupestris (kher), and Tecomella undolata (lohiroo) trees are typical of the western hill region.
- In the Indus valley, the Acacia nilotica (babbur) is the most dominant and occurs in thick forests along the Indus banks.
- Azadirachta indica (nim), Zizyphys vulgaris (ber), Tamarix orientalis (jujuba lai), and Capparis aphylla (kirir) are among the more common trees.
TABLE 2 Areas Covered During the Surveys
|1.||Dadu||Taluka Dadu||Goth Kamil Gaincho
Goth Jurial Bhand
Goth Bhori Panwar
|Taluka Johi||Goth Saidan Ko Photo
|Taluka Khairpur Nathanshah||Goth Somar Khan Kamrani
Goth Sudhan Panhwar
Goth Ahmed Khan Unar
Goth Fazal Faqir
Goth Yaqoob Panhwar
Goth Dost Mohummad Mari
|2.||Ghotki||Taluka Ghotki||Goth Purani Sarhad
Goth Haji Makran
Goth Umer Dariho
Goth Rais Sobdar Khan Khauwar
Goth Muhammed Ishaque
|3.||Jacobabad||Taluka Jacobabad||Goth Abdul Aziz Kharani
Goth Noor Mohammad Pathan
Goth Manzoor Ahmed Maher
|Taluka Thul||Goth Mubarakpur
Goth Mohammad Yaqoob Mirpur Buriro
|Taluka Ghari Khero||Goth Maher Bhatti
Goth Rais Allah Bux Bhatti
Goth Dao Jahan Pur
Goth Mohim Khan Brohi
|4.||Jamshoro||Rais Karan Khan Shoro
Muhammad Yousuf Palari
Nawab Khan Khoso
Nabi Bux Babar
Pir Bux Khaskhali
Thana Bola Khan
Goth Sajan Khan
Goth Arzi Khoso
Goth Chanecer Khan Khoso
|5.||Kamber- Shahdadkot||Taluka Kamber||Goth Sharifana
Goth Bacho Mujeri
Goth Allah Dino Tunio
|Taluka Nasirabad||Goth Mundar Lakha
Goth Qabool Tewno
Goth Faiz Mohammad Khokhar
Goth Jamil Tunio
Goth Humzo Gawance
|Sobhraj Maternity Hospital, Karachi Central|
|7.||Kashmore- Kandhkot||Taluka Kashmore||Goth Aadu
Goth Kamal Khan
Goth Haibat Khan
Goth Imam saleh
|Taluka Kandhkot||Goth Abdul qadir Chachar
Goth Dorani Maher
Goth Haji Dost Mohammad
Goth Ghulam Hyder Shah
|Taluka Tangwani||Goth Jeo Malik
Goth Haji Kamal Khan Magsi
Goth Qasim Khan Khoso
Goth Nurullah Khan
Noonari Muhallah Tangwani
|8.||Khairpur||Taluka Kingri||Goth Jam Jatoi
Goth Lal dino Unjan
|Taluka Kot Diji||Goth Hussainabad
Khuda Bux Bhnbhro
|Taluka Khairpur||Goth Shaheen Khan Jatoi
Goth Chatan Shah Bukhari
Goth Umaid Ali Katohar
|Taluka Sobodero||Goth Lal Bux|
|Taluka Dokri||Goth Khair Muhammad Areja
Goth Tharo Wann
Goth Jhendo sero
|Taluka Ratodero||Garibabad Mahulla Naodero
Ghari Khuda Bux
|11.||Mirpurkhas||Taluka Mirpurkhas||Goth Imtiaz Panhwar
Goth Taj Muhammad
Goth Dr. Yar Muhammad Jinji
Goth Allahdino Khaskhali
|Taluka Kot Ghulam Muhammad||Goth Kalu
Goth Molvi Muhammad Ibrahim Khaskhali
|12.||Naushahro Feroz||Taluka Moro||Goth Hajji Somar Chandio|
|Taluka Kandyaro||Kandyaro city
Goth Umeedri Machi
|Taluka Nausheroferoz||Goth Abdul Hakeem Khokhar|
|Taluka Bhria||Tharu Shah
Goth Qadi Bux Sandh
Goth Khaie Qasim
|Taluka Sanghar||Goth Haji Abdul Karim Laghari
Padri Jo Goth
Goth Nawab Kot
|Taluka Sinjhoro||Goth Sikanderabad
Goth Haji Mohammad Usman Mari
Goth Raees Nizamani
|Taluka Shadadpur||Goth Yaar Mohammad
Goth Murad Makrani
Goth Bachal Khan Bodhyani
Goth Lakshman Baghri
|Taluka Jam Nawaz Ali||Jam Goth
Naru Jo Goth
|Taluka Khipro||Goth Wali Mohammad Qazi
Mari Jo Goth
Goth Chouhdri Abdul Rasheed
Goth Vithal Shah
Goth Mohammad Sadiq Rajar
Goth Haji Nawaz Ali Shah
Goth Sachal Samejo
|14.||Shahdadkot||Goth Aitbar Khan Chandio
Goth Hajji Souhbat Brohi
Goth Mir Jee Nari
Goth Hajji Darya Khan Mastoi
Goth Arzi Bhutto
|15.||Shaheed Benazir Abad||Taluka Sakrand||Goth Punal khan chandio
Goth Gulham Haider Chandio
|Taluka Qazi Ahmed||Goth Nawab Wali Mhammad
Goth Sardar Hajji Hamal Kalohi
|Taluka Daur||Goth Hajji Umar Sethal
Goth Hajji Abdul Rehman
|Taluka Nawabshah||Goth Buxan Zardari
Goth M.Yousif Zardari
Goth Pir Makhdoom Kalique-ul-zaman
Goth Miskeen Shah
Goth Choudhary Shah Muhammad
|16.||Shikarpur||Taluka Lakhi Ghulam Ali Shah||Goth Somar
|Taluka Ghariyaseen||Noshero Abro
Purano Amroth Shari
|Taluka Shikarpur||Muhammad Usman Mahar
Hajji Allah Dino Jaferi
|17.||Sukkur||Taluka Pano Aqil||Goth Sanghi
Goth Dafar Jatoi
Goth Hajji Khan Ghunia
|Taluka Rohri||Goth Deh Kotri
Goth Tharhri Qasim Shah
Goth Ibrahim Mochi
|Taluka Saleh Pat||Goth Narepul
Goth Fazalabad Sheroja
|18.||Tando Allahyar||Taluka Tando Allahyar||Goth Gul Khumaid
Goth Fahad Junejo
Goth Qazi Muhammad Halepoto
|Taluka Chambar||Chambar Road
Goth Muhammad Nawaz Utho
Goth Khan Muhammad Bozdar
Goth Bahadur Laghari
|19.||Tando Muhammad Khan
|Goth Haji Ahmed Wisryo
Goth Haji Gox Gujar
|Taluka Bulri Shah Karim||Goth Punhalabad
Goth Nabi Bux Lagari
Goth Wali Muhammad Magsi
|20.||Tharparkar||Taluka Mithi||Goth Malhanhore
Baraj Bhatti Mithrio
Koolhi Parho Islamkot
|Taluka Nagar Parkar||Goth Danodandan
Balo Jo Wandio
|Taluka Gharo/Gujju||Sattar Goth
|Taluka Sajawal||Hajji Ahmed Jamari
Hajji Khuda Dino Sahito
Goth Wali Shah Daro
Goth Allah Bachaiyo Mallah
|Taluka Mirpur Bathoro||Imam Bux Khara|
|22.||Umerkot||Taluka Umerkot||Goth Muhkam Singh
Goth Vehro Sharif
Goth Mandal Thakur
Chor-Goth Khet Singh
|Taluka Samaro||Goth Jan Muhammad Murgari
|Taluka Kunri||Goth Memon Kunri|
The project was executed in a planned manner. The steps that followed were:
- Field survey
- Scientific literature survey of identified plants
- Scientific evaluation (safety and efficacy) of selected medicinal plants
- Field Survey
The team of researchers initially worked to identify those areas where cultural folk medicines were strongly used. To carry out the survey, a friendly relationship was established with the households. For each meeting, target villages were selected where the objectives of surveys were discussed both volunteers and recommended individuals were identified as possible candidates to participate in personal interview for the survey.
The following activities were carried out.
- Women were interviewed in cultural sensitive manner by female members of the team.
- Herbalists within that village were identified.
- Each herbalist was interviewed by a member of the team. This interview was based on standard questionnaires and included enquiries of different types of plants collected from forest, farms, garden, and bought from the market.
- The data was recorded on the questionnaire and analysis was done.
For ethanobotanical assessments, following points were considered:
- Preparation before field work:
It included collection of ethnobotanical data related to women diseases from the literature, secondary information-regarding map, flora, land, the people, and the conservation issues in the region. Specific sites were selected with the help of maps before field visits.
- Formation of the multidisciplinary team:
Team for survey included gynecologist, taxonomist, pharmacist, microbiologist, chemist, biochemist, and anthropologist.
- Identification of fields:
All relevant information about the flora, soil, culture, and people was obtained before visiting the field.
- Ensuring community participation:
During survey, the villagers were informed about aims and objectives of the survey in a friendly atmosphere. A gynecologist was essentially included in the survey team so that people who usually do not have easy access to doctors could discuss their diseases and medications with the doctors.
Patients, old people, midwives and hakims were interviewed to record traditional knowledge of medicinal plants, used by them to treat women diseases. Interviews also included inquiries into types of plants collected from forests, farms, and gardens or brought for the market.
- Selection in choice of techniques:
Samples were collected from the patients by the microbiologist, which were examined in detail in various laboratories.
- Systematic work:
The survey was carried out systematically. It included the maps of the sites to be visited, complete data of the patients, geographical information of the village surveyed, identification of the biological samples collected from patients, and scientific evaluation of the ethnobotanical information. The conclusion of the survey was drawn with graphics and charts during the stay period.
Key Area for Questionnaire is:
- Name of the disease (in local language) along with symptoms.
- Local name of the plants.
- Types of plants.
- Parts of the plants used.
- Mode of preparation.
Availability and non-availability of plants used i.e. whether the plant had become more difficult to find in recent years.
- Optimal time for plant collection.
- Area of collection.
- Can a particular plant be substituted by another for same ailments?
- Personal experiences and treatment time.
- Any recurrences of the disease condition.
The data were recorded on the questionnaire and analysis was carried out:
Data Collection Included:
- Collection and identification of the plants and other material.
- Preparing ethnobotanic referee collection.
- Herbaria and curation of the plant and other species specimens.
- Judging the completeness of a plant survey.
- Collecting plants for photochemical analysis.
The main objective of the survey was to document and analyze information on the traditional use of medicinal plants by local population in rural areas of Sindh for the treatment of folkwomen diseases.
- Scientific literature survey of identified plants
A database of traditional medicines used for the treatment of women diseases has been compiled, which is a frame-based on-line reference of all information on medicinal plants and extracts used in the rural areas of Sindh. A monograph has been published.
This database and monograph include information about women diseases as well as plants, and herbs used in rural areas of Sindh for the treatment of these diseases. The data also include relevant herbal formulations and scientific evaluation.
- Scientific evaluation (safety and efficacy) of selected medicinal plants against skin diseases
All plants and other vegetations identified through the survey were collected or purchased, and extracted at H. E. J (International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences). A systematic study was conducted on the chemistry and pharmacology of extracts and compounds isolated from natural sources. Extraction, isolation, and structure of active constituents were determined by using sophisticated spectroscopic techniques, and chemical methods.
- Extraction and Isolation
Plants were collected or purchased and dried in the air. They were crushed and soaked in methanol/ethanol for one week at 25o C. The crude extract was dissolved in distilled water, and defatted with hexane. The defatted aqueous extract was further fractionated with Chloroform (CHCl3), Ethyl acetate (EtOAc), and Butanol (BuOH). These extracts were evaporated, and evaluated for their antibacterial, antifungal, and other relevant assays. The active extracts were subjected to column chromatography (CC) on silica gel, sephadex LH-20, and HPLC, and eluted with gradients of different solvents like hexane-dichloromethane, hexane-ethyl acetate, dichloromethane-ethyl acetate, dichloromethane-methanol, water-methanol, etc., to yield the most active constituents from plants, and medicinal herbs. The structure elucidation of active constituents was carried out by using UV, IR, Mass, 1- and 2-D NMR techniques, and by chemical methods.
- Bioassay and Pharmacological Evaluation
Extracts (80% EtOH/MeOH-H2O) of identified plants were prepared and dried under vacuum. These extracts were screened for relevant activity (reputed therapeutic activity) by using high-throughput biological and pharmacological screening protocols at the Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (ICCBS). The bioassay screenings included:
Systematic Flow Chart of Survey Methodology and Plant Screening
In Vitro Studies for Treponema palladium (causative agent of syphilis)
- palladium was adjusted to 2×107 to 2.5×107 organism/mL. Different concentrations of extract/compounds were diluted and added to treponemes. After 24 h at 37oC in an environment of 5% CO2, motile organisms were assessed. Both live and dead organisms were counted.
In Vivo Studies for Treponema palladium
Adult female rabbits were injected intradermally with viable T. palladium. When (usually in 2 weeks) skin lesions were clinically apparent and animals were treated intramuscularly with different doses of the plant extract / pure compounds. As positive control, penicillin G at 23,000 U/kg was injected to a separate group of rabbits. As negative control, the rabbit was not treated and obscured.
In Vitro Studies for Candida albicans (causative agent of syphilis)
Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC Testing) was assessed by broth micro dilution assay by using medium at pH 7, an inoculums size of 50 to 100 CFU/MI, and 24 h of incubation. Results of crude extract/pure compounds were compared with amphotericine B and Clotrimazole.
In Vivo Studies for Candida albicans
Mice were infected by intravenous administration of 5×106 CFU per animal from a freshly prepared 24-h C. albicans culture. An extract/pure compound was administered orally to mice (appropriate dose) over the period of 5-7 days.
In Vitro test for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (causative agents of gonorrhea)
The MICs and the extract/pure compounds were determined by agar dilution techniques. Several dilutions of the antimicrobial agents were distributed in to Mueller-Hiniton agar. The culture was then inoculated on to the antimicrobial agents, containing plates. The plates were incubated for 18-24 h at 35oC in a CO2 atmosphere.
In Vitro test against Chlamydia trachomatis
Lodo-oxyyuridine treated McCoy cells were infected with an inoculum of C. trachmatis. A serial of several fold dilution of extracts/pure compounds was added after 48 h inoculation of pathogens and incubation continued for a further 48 h and then the MIC was noted.
In Vivo Studies for Female Sexual Dysfunction
Female rabbits were selected as animal model to examine female genital arousal response. The changes in vaginal and clitoral hemodynamic in response to pelvic nerve stimulation were recorded.
In Vivo Studies for Premature Menopause
Primodial germ cells deficient mice were used as animal model for the pathogenesis and treatment of premature menopause.
Crude extract/pure compound used in women disease were subjected to cytotoxicity assay. Crude extracts/pure compounds were subjected to cytotoxicity assay by using human neutrophils. The assay was based on the reduction of tetrazolium salt WST-1 by mitochondrial dehydrogenases of viable cells to yellow organ formation dye, which was measured spectrophotometrically.
List of Plants used for the Treatment of Women Specific Diseases in Sindh
|S.No.||Botanical Names of Plants||Sindhi Name||English Name|
|1.||Abelmoschus esculentus L.||Bhindi||Okra, Lady finger|
|2.||Acacia nilotica L. Willd||Babur||Gum arabica, Kikar|
|3.||Achillea millefolium L.||Gumandar||Yarrow|
|4.||Acorus calamus L.||Kini kathi||Sweet flag, Calamus|
|5.||Allium cepa L.||Basar||Onion|
|6.||Allium sativum L.||Thooma||Garlic|
|7.||Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f.||Alva||Aloe vera|
|8.||Amomum subulatum Roxb.||Wada phota||Black cardamom|
|9.||Anethum sowa Roxb.||Sowa||Dill|
|10.||Apium graveolens L.||Waowal||Celery|
|11.||Arachis hypogaea L.||Mugera||Peanut|
|12.||Areca catechu L.||Supari, Kini supari, Tail supari||Betel nuts, Areca nuts|
|13.||Asparagus adscendens Roxb.||Musli||Asparagus, Sparrow grass|
|14.||Asparagus officinalis L.||Haliyo, Aryo||Garden asparagus|
|15.||Azadirachta indica J. Juss.||Nim||Margosa|
|16.||Bambusa glaucescens (Willd.) Sieb. ex Munro||Bans||Bamboo|
|17.||Berberis vulgaris L.||Raswal||European barberry|
|18.||Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb.||Shaar||Velvet leaf|
|19.||Boswellia serrata Roxb.||Sehat kundar||Indian frankincense|
|20.||Brassica alba L.||Sirhan||White mustered|
|21.||Butea frondosa Roxb. ex. Willd.||Pamlet||Palash, Dhak, Flame of the forest|
|22.||Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.||Holo||Gray nicker, Nickernuts|
|23.||Calotropis procera (Aiton) W. T. Aiton.||Aak, Akada||Giant swallow wort, Milkweed|
|24.||Cannabis sativa L.||Bhanga||Marijuana, Hemp|
|25.||Carthamus tinctorius L.||Powari||Safflower|
|26.||Cassia absus L.||Chorr||Pig’s senna|
|27.||Cassia angustifolia Vahl.||Son makie, ghorawal||Indian senna|
|28.||Cassia fistula L.||Amaltas, Chimkani||Golden shower|
|29.||Cicer arietinum L.||Chola||Chick pea|
|30.||Cichorium intybus L.||Kasni||Chicory|
|31.||Cinnamomum cassia Nees ex Blume.||Kahi kehro||Chinese cassia or Chinese cinnamon|
|32.||Cinnamomum zeylanicum Garcin ex Blume.||Dalchini||True cinnamomum|
|33.||Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.||Troh||Bitter apple, Bitter cucumber|
|34.||Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.)||Hindaro, Chhaen||Watermelon|
|35.||Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.||Lemo||Lemon|
|36.||Cocos nucifera L.||Dhungi||Coconut tree|
|37.||Coffea arabica L.||Coffee||Coffee|
|38.||Commiphora mukul (Stocks) Hook.||Guggur, Gugar||Indian bdellium|
|39.||Corchorus capsularis L.||Nuri||White jute|
|40.||Coriandrum sativum L.||Dhana||Coriander|
|41.||Crocus sativus L.||Zafran, Kesar||Saffron|
|42.||Cucumis sativus L.||Khero||Cucumber|
|43.||Cuminum cyminum L.||Jeero, Zeero||Cumin seeds|
|44.||Curcuma longa L.||Hedr||Turmeric|
|45.||Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L.||Guar pharyun||Cluster beans|
|46.||Cydonia oblonga Mill.||Behdana||Quince|
|47.||Daucus carota L.||Gajar||Carrot|
|48.||Elettaria cardamomum Maton.||Nandha photta||Green cardamom|
|49.||Embelia ribes Burm. f.||Wavovadang||False black pepper|
|50.||Eugenia caryyophyllata Thumb.||Long||Cloves|
|51.||Ficus carica L.||Injeer||Common fig|
|52.||Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce.||Wadaf||Fennel|
|53.||Glycyrrhiza glabra L.||Mithi kathi||Liquorice|
|54.||Gossypium arboreum L.||Gogru, Kappah||Cotton tree|
|55.||Hedychium spicatum Buch. Ham.||Kapur kachri||Spiked ginger lily|
|56.||Helicteres isora L.||Verkathi||Indian screw tree, Red isora|
|57.||Holarrhena antidysenterica L.||Thoni thamba||Tellichery bark and coneru|
|58.||Hordeum vulgare L.||Makai||Barley|
|59.||Juglans regia L.||Akhrot||Walnut|
|60.||Juniperus communis L.||Awaber||Juniper|
|61.||Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl.||Lauki, Kadu||Bottle gourd, Calabash|
|62.||Lallemantia royleana Benth.||Naazboo||Black psyllium seeds|
|63.||Lawsonia inermis L.||Mehndi||Henna|
|64.||Mangifera indica L.||Anb||Mango tree|
|65.||Mentha piperita L.||Phudno, Jawar tiki||Pippermint|
|66.||Metroxylon sagu Rottb.||Sabudana||Sogo|
|67.||Morus acidosa Griff.||Waonipa||Mulberry|
|68.||Myrica nagi Thunb.||Zalani khal||Bayberry|
|69.||Myristica fragrans Houtt.||Monjot||Nutmeg|
|70.||Myrtus communis L.||Morhiyo||Myrtle, Clove myrtle|
|71.||Onosma hispida Wall.||Rattan jot||NA|
|72.||Origanum vulgare L.||Sather||Oregano, Wild marjoram|
|73.||Papaver somniferum L.||Khashkhash, Pusta ji kann||Opium seeds, Poppy seeds|
|74.||Peganum harmala L.||Harmal||Harmal, Wild rue|
|75.||Phaseolus vulgaris L.||Bari wai||French bean|
|76.||Phoenix dactylifera L.||Shuhara||Date palm|
|77.||Phyllanthus emblica L.||Awra||Indian gooseberry|
|78.||Pinus gerardiana Wall. ex D. Don.||Neza||Pinus|
|79.||Piper nigrum L.||Kara mirch||Black pepper|
|80.||Pistacia vera L.||Pista||Pistachio|
|81.||Polygonum bistorta L.||Anjbar||Bistort, Common bistort|
|82.||Prunus amygdalus Batsch.||Badami||Almond|
|83.||Punica granatum L.||Darrun||Pomegranate|
|84.||Quercus infectoria Olivier.||Mao||Gall oak, Dyer’s oak|
|85.||Rhazya stricta Decne.||Seenhaar, Shaar||Rhazya|
|86.||Rheum emodi Wall.||Rawand||Himalayan rhubarb|
|87.||Ricinus communis L.||Arandi||Castor beans|
|88.||Rosa indica L.||Gul||Rose|
|89.||Rubia cordifolia L.||Lalri||Common madder|
|90.||Salvadora persica Wall.||Musag||Miswak|
|91.||Salvia plebeia R. Brown.||Kamarkas||English plebeian, Sage weed|
|92.||Saussurea lappa DC.||Malib||Costus, Kut root|
|93.||Sesamum indicum L.||Tirra||Sesame seeds|
|94.||Shorea robusta Roth.||Sabzama||Sal tree|
|95.||Symplocos racemosa Roxb.
|Lodh, Lodhra, Pathani lodh||Lodh tree, Symplocos bark|
|96.||Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels.||Jamun||Jambul, Java plum|
|97.||Tamarindus indica L.||Chelh chalk||Tamarind|
|98.||Tamarix aphylla (L.) H. Karst.||Sakar||Salt cedar|
|99.||Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb.||Wadi harir||Belleric muroblan|
|100.||Terminalia chebula Retz.||Nandhi harir, Injri||Black myrobalau|
|101.||Trachyspermum ammi L.||Jannr||Carom seeds, Bishop’s weed|
|102.||Trapa bispinosa Roxb.||Singhara||Water chestnut|
|103.||Trigonella foenum-graecum L.||Hurbo||Fenugreek seeds|
|104.||Triticum aestivum L.||Suji||Semolina|
|105.||Vigna radiata L.||Mung dana||Mung bean|
|106.||Vitis vinifera L.||Dakh||Grapes|
|107.||Withania coagulans Dunal.||Panir||Vegetable rennet|
|108.||Zingiber officinale Roscoe.||Sundh, Adrak||Ginger|
Description of Plants Used for the Treatment of Women Specific
Diseases in Sindh
Abelmoschus esculentus L.
Botanical Name: Abelmoschus esculentus L.
Local Name: Bhindi
Sindhi Name: Bhindi
English Name: Okra, Lady’s fingers
Part Used: Whole plant
Abelmoschus esculentus L. is an annual or perennial plant, grows up to 2 m tall. Leaves are long and broad. Lobes are 5-7 and palmate. Petals are white to yellow in color with red or purple spots present at the base of each petal. Fruits are long, look like capsules, and contain numerous seeds1.
- esculentus is cultivated in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions around the world. Ethiopia, Sudan, northeastern African countries, India, and Pakistan are some of the countries where it grows favorably.
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Women Diseases
- esculentus is placed intra-vaginally for the treatment of leucorrhea in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
About thirteen flavanoid glycosides, gossypetin, and hibiscetin glucosides have been extracted from petals. Fresh fruits contain pectin and mucilage. D-Galactose, L-rhamnose, and D-dalacturonic acid are also isolated from fruit. Fresh fruits contain oxalic acid, protein, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, niacin, and flavonoids. Essential oil in the plant include are aliphatic alchohols, cyclohexanol, p-tolualdehyde, α-terpenylacetate, and citral whereas nonvolatile neutral part contains β-sitosterol and its 3β-galactoside2.
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies
- esculentus is used for the treatment of asthma. It also normalizes blood sugar and cholesterol levels2. Fresh seedless tender fruit with candy sugar is used as a medicine for the treatment of leucorrhea, functional impotency, premature ejaculation, constipation, and burning in the eyes3. Mucilage from seeds and fruit are used in gonorrhea4. Seeds act as antiseptic, stomachic, aphrodisiac, and has cooling effect5. Seeds are also useful in the treatment of urinary discharges, strangury, diarrhea, and blood disorders6. Decoction of immature fruits is used as a diuretic6. Fruits are used as mucilaginous food additive against gastric inflammatory diseases7.
Peel and seed powder of the plant are reported for antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic activities2. Acute toxicity studies have shown that methanolic extract of A. esculentus fruits and seeds are safe to use up to 1000 mg/kg dosage. Methanolic extracts of fruits and seeds exhibit analgesic, antiinflammatory, antidiarrhoreal, CNS depressant, and gastrointestinal motility activities8. The fresh and lyophilized extracts are antibacterial in nature9.
- Sabitha, V., Ramachandran, S., Naveen, K. R., and Panneerselvam, K. (2011). Antidiabetic and Antihyperlipidemic Potential of Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench. in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. Journal Pharmacolgy and Bioallied Science, 3(3), 397–402.
- Pullaiah, T. (2006). Encyclopaedia of World Medicinal Plants, 1, 11-12, Regency Publications, New Delhi, India.
- Baquar, S. R. (1989). Medicinal and Poisonous Plants of Pakistan, p. 1, Printas, Karachi, Pakistan.
- Bhattacharjee, S. K., and De, L.C. (2006). Medicinal Herbs and Flowers Plants, p. 10, Mrs. Jain. S., Aavishkar Publishers, Jaipur, India.
- Lengsfeld, C., Titgemeyer, F., Faller, G., and Hensel, A. (2004). Glycosylated Compounds from Okra Inhibit Adhesion of Helicobacter pylori to Human Gastric Mucosa. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 52, 1495-1503.
- Shammi, S. J., Islam, R., Majumder, R., and Alam, B. (2014). Comparative Pharmacological Studies of Abelmoschuse sculentus Fruits and Seeds, 8(1), 98–106.
- Rout, O. P., Acharya, R., and Mishra, S. K. (2012). Oleogum resin Guggulu: A review of the medicinal evidence for its therapeutic properties. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy, 3(1), 15–21.
Acacia nilotica L. Willd. ex Delile
Botanical Name: Acacia nilotica L. Willd. ex Delile
Local Name: Babul
Sindhi Name: Babur
English Name: Gum arabica, Kikar
Part Used: Inflorescence and pods
Acacia nilotica L. Willd. ex Delile occurs as a tree, 1.2-18 m in height, It is variable in shape with spreading branches forming a dense flat or rounded crown; bark on trunk is rough and fissured, blackish grey or brown in color. Leaves are bi-pinnate with 7-25 pairs of leaflets, often with 1-2 petiolar glands. Flowers are bright yellow with globular heads, borne on 2-3 cm long peduncles, either in axillary pattern or in whorls. Fruits are variable, indehiscent, straight or curved, glabrous to velvety and long. Seeds are blackish brown in color with smooth texture1.
- nilotica is native to Africa and Pak-Indian subcontinent. In Pakistan, it is widely distributed in Lasbella (Balochistan), Karachi, Indus delta, and Kutch (Sindh).
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Women Diseases
Bark of Acacia nilotica L. Willd. ex Delile (Kikar) is soaked for few hours and the extract is taken orally from third day of menstruation in Districts Jamshoro and Kashmore (Sindh). This extract is also taken orally for inducing abortion in the morning for 5-6 days as well as for the treatment of menorrhagia and polymenorrhia in District Kashmore (Sindh). This extract is used for ablution, and for the treatment of pelvic inflammatory diseases thrice a day for 3 days in District Kashmore (Sindh). This extract is taken orally for the treatment of menorrhagia in District Khairpur (Sindh). The extract is used as vaginal douche against sexual transmitted diseases, leucorrhea, and vaginal pruritus in District Khairpur (Sindh). The remedy is used orally for dysmenorrhea twice a day for 2-3 days in District Sanghar (Sindh).
Polymenorrhea and Menorrhagia
Bark of A. nilotica are soaked in water for few hours and then two table spoons of butter oil, and 2-3 Elettaria cardamomum Maton. (Green cardamom) are added in it. It is then boiled and this water is taken orally for the treatment of polymenorrhea and menorrhagia in District Kamber (Sindh).
Some flowers of A. nilotica, bark of Punica granatum L. (Pomegranate), and 2 tablespoons sugar are ground together to obtain powder, taken orally one table spoon of the powder twice a day for 4-5 days regularly for the treatment of menorrhagia in District Kamber (Sindh).
Menorrhagia and Dysmenorrhea
Powder of A. nilotica inflorescence is consumed orally with some water upto three days for the treatment of dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia in District Thatta (Sindh).
Improvement of Ladies Health after Childbirth
Powder of Prunus amygdalus Batsch. (Almond) and Pistacia vera L. (Pistachio) are fried with Triticum aestivum L. (Wheat) flour, butter oil, and A. nilotica gum. It is taken orally with cow milk for improving women health after childbirth in District Thatta (Sindh).
Bark of A. nilotica, bark of Syzygium cumini Skeel. (Jambul), and crystal sugar are mashed, and boiled in some water. This water is taken orally for polymenorrhea in District Ghotki (Sindh).
- nilotica, Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce. (Fennel), and slug of Mentha piperita L. (Peppermint) are mashed into fine powder, 1 tablespoon is taken orally twice a day for 5-6 days for the treatment of amenorrhea in District Ghotki (Sindh).
- Bark of nilotica is soaked in water overnight. In the morning a small piece of jaggery is added in it, and boiled for half an hour. It is taken orally in the morning on an empty stomach for 3-4 days. This remedy is also advised for the treatment of infertility.
Infertility and Amenorrhea
Bark of A. nilotica are boiled in water and taken orally for the treatment of infertility in Districts Ghotki and Jacobabad (Sindh). This remedy is also used orally for the treatment of amenorrhea in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
- Some flowers of nilotica, 3-4 Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), 2-3 jaggery, and butter oil are boiled in water. It is consumed orally for the treatment of infertility for 2-3 months in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
- Fresh flowers of nilotica are ground and mixed with a cup of water. This extract is taken orally for the first three days of period for the treatment of infertility in District Sukkur (Sindh).
- nilotica and seeds of ajmoon* are boiled in a glass of water. It is taken orally for 2 months during menstruation for the treatment of infertility in District Sanghar (Sindh).
- Ground leaves of nilotica is advised to take orally with water for 5 days.
Strengthening of Uterus
Equal quantities of Cuminum cyminum L. (Cumin), Areca catechu L. (Betel nut), Quercus infectoria Olivier. (Gall oak), flower of A. nilotica, crystal sugar, and 10-12 flowers of mustard are mixed in 2 tablespoons butter oil, and then boiled in 2 glass of water. The drink is consumed orally for strengthening of uterus in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
- Ground Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Areca catechu (Betel nut), Cuminum cyminum (Cumin), bark of nilotica, Triticum aestivum (Wheat), 2 tablespoon of butter oil, crystal sugar, and some leaves of Lallemantia royleana Benth. (Black psyllium) in equal quantities, and mixed with butter. It is boiled in 2 glass of water till 1 glass remained, and taken orally in the morning on an empty stomach for 3 days for the treatment of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
- 2-3 drops of dettol is added in decoction of nilotica bark. It is used for ablution for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases(STD) District Kashmore (Sindh).
- ½ kg of barks of nilotica and 60 g Terminalia chebula Retz. (Black myrobalau) are boiled in some water until it become soft, and then mashed to make paste. Vaginal suppositories are prepared and placed intra-vaginally for 7 days at night for the treatment of sexual transmitted diseases (STD) in District Shahdadkot (Sindh).
Conceiving Male Child and Infertility
- Powder of nilotica flower is soaked in 250 mL water and sweetened it with sugar, and the extract is taken orally from third day of menstruation in District Jamshoro (Sindh).
- Salvadora persica (Miswak), bark of nilotica, Trachyspermum ammi L. (Carom), jaggery, and butter are ground together, and boiled in some water. This water is taken orally for conceiving male child in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- Decoction of nilotica bark is used for kneading wheat flour. This flour is then used to make unleavened bread / porridge and taken orally for 2-3 days for the treatment of menorrhagia in Districts Jamshoro and Shaheed Benazirabad (Sindh).
- Flowers of nilotica are taken orally for the treatment of menorrhagia and infertility in District Shaheed Benazirabad (Sindh).
- Flowers of nilotica, crystal sugar, and Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom) are crushed separately, and the powdered forms are mixed together to prepare an oral remedy.
Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel), bark of A. nilotica, Trachyspermum ammi (Carom), Withania coagulans Dunal. (Vegetable rennet), Anethum sowa Roxb. (Dill), and jaggery are soaked in equal quantities in water, and boiled after few hours. Small amount of clarified butter and wheat flour are also added in it. This water is used orally in the morning on an empty stomach for 3 days for the treatment of scanty menses in District Kashmore (Sindh).
Fresh gum resins of A. nilotica are soaked overnight and then boiled. This water is used as vaginal douche for the treatment of vaginal pruritus in District Mirpurkhas (Sindh).
Backache during Menstruation
Ground Apium graveolens L. (Celery), Embelia ribes Burm. f. (False black pepper), and A. nilotica to obtain a paste, and used orally twice a day for 4-5 day for reducing backache during menstruation in District Shaheed Benazirabad (Sindh).
Infertility and Menorrhagia
Some flowers of A. nilotica, 3-4 Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), candy sugar, and crystal sugar are boiled in water. This water is consumed orally for the treatment of infertility and menorrhagia in District Shikarpur (Sindh).
- Rub is prepared by frying nilotica and sugar in butter oil, and consumed 5-6 tablespoon orally for 3 days for improving lactation in District Umerkot (Sindh).
- Papaver somniferum (Opium), Symplocos recemosa Roxb. (Lodh), dried Cocus nucifera L. (Coconut), A. nilotica, and Coriandrum sativum L. (Coriander) seeds are fried in butter oil. It is taken orally twice a day for week for improving lactation in District Umerkot (Sindh).
- Rub is prepared by frying Cocus nucifera (Coconut), Prunus amygdalus (Almond), nilotica, Coriandrum sativum (Coriander) seeds, and sugar in butter oil. It is taken orally once a day for 4-5 days for improving lactation in District Umerkot (Sindh).
- Rub is prepared by frying Triticum aestivum (Wheat) in butter fat. It is then mixed with ground Origanum vulgare (Oregano), A. nilotica gum, aryo*, crystal sugar, Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel), and Piper nigrum L. (Black pepper). It is taken orally once a day for a month.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Vaginal Itching
Soaked A. nilotica latex are boiled in some water. Decoction is used to take a bath for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and vaginal itching in District Umerkot (Sindh).
Symplocos racemosa (Lodh), Salvia plebeia R. Brown. (Sage weed), Areca catechu (Betel nut), soap stone, Trapa bispinosa Roxb. (Water chestnut), and A. nilotica are ground to make tablets. It is advised to take orally one tablet per day for 2 weeks for the treatment of leucorrhea in District Tando Adam (Sindh).
Alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, tannins, amino acids, steroids, and terpenoids are the main constituents of various parts of A. nilotica. Leaf extracts contained apigenin, 6-8-bis-D-glucoside, rutin, and digestive protein, whereas the root extract was rich in alkaloids and glycosides2. Other phytochemicals included fixed oils, fats, and phenolic compounds, such as flavanoids3. A gum, arabin, is the chief constituent of plant4.
Phytochemicals in the flowers included stearic acid, kaempferol-3-glucoside, isoquercitrin, leucocyanidin, and other phenolic compounds5. The stem bark contained terpenoids, alkaloids, saponins, and glycosides6. Polyphenolics, such as condensed tannin, phlobatannin, gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, pyrocatechol, (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, (-)-epigallocatechin-7-gallate, and (-)-epigallocatechin-5,7-digallate have been isolated from this plant6.
Seeds contained m-digallic acid, gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, ellagic acid, leucocyanidin, m-digallic dimer 3,4,5,7-tetrahydroxy flavan-3-ol, oligomer 3,4,7-trihydroxy flavan 3,4-diol, 3,4,5,7-tetrahydroxy flavan-3-ol, and (-)-epicatechol as the major constituents7.
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies
- nilotica is traditionally used for the treatment of cancer, tumors, fever, hemorrhages, leucorrhea, ophthalmia, cold, congestion, coughs, and sclerosis. It is also used as an antiscorbutic, antispasmodial, nerve stimulant, astringent, antioxidant, diuretic, and hypoglycaemic agent8. Gum is demulcent for inflammatory conditions of respiratory, digestive, and urinary tract8. An infusion of the pods and bark is a common remedy for gastrointestinal disorders9. Pods are reported to be effective for the treatment of urinogenital disorders10. The pulverized pods/ seeds are used as cicatrizant for mouth sores of syphilitic ulcers, while a decoction of the fruits with ginger is used as a mouthwash to treat toothache9.
- nilotica has been reported to be very useful in the treatment of diarrhea and cough in humans. The plant have been reported as antimicrobial, antimalarial2, antibacterial5, antifungal11,12, anthelmintic13, antioxidant14, cytotoxic15, and antihypertensive16. The aqueous methanol extract of pods showed antidiabetic and hypolipidemic activities17.
- Flora of Pakistan:http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspxflora_id=5&taxon_id=200011856.
- Ali, A. J., Akanya, H. O., and Dauda, B. E. N. (2010). Polygalloyltannin Isolated from the Roots of Acacia nilotica (Leguminoseae) is Effective against Plasmodium berghei in Mice. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 4(12), 1169-1175.
- Kalaivani, T., Rajasekaran, C., Suthindhiran, K., and Mathew, L. (2011). Free Radical Scavenging, Cytotoxic and Hemolytic Activities from Leaves of Acacia nilotica (L.) Wild. ex. Delile subsp. indica (Benth.) Brenan. Evidence Based on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 274741.
- Banso, A. (2009). Phytochemical and Antibacterial Investigation of Bark Extracts of Acacia nilotica. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 3(2), 82-085.
- Malviya, S., Rawat, S., Kharia, A., and Verma, M. (2011). Medicinal attributes of Acacia nilotica-A Comprehensive Review on Ethnopharmacological Claims. International Journal of Pharmacy & Life Sciences, 2(6), 830–837.
- Ali, A., Akhtar, N., Khan, B. A., Khan, M. S., Rasul, A., Khalid, N., and Ali, L. (2012). Acacia nilotica: A Plant of Multipurpose Medicinal Uses. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 6(9), 1492–1496.
- Khare, C. P. (2007). Indian Medicinal Plants, p.836, Springer Science Publishers, New York, USA.
- Amos, S., Akah, P. A., Odukwe, C. J., Gamaniel, K. S., and Wambede, C. (1999). The Pharmacological Effects of an Aqueous Extract from Acacia nilotica Phytotherapy Research, 13, 683–685.
- Tervedi, P. C., and Sharma, N. K. (2004). Ethnomedicinal Plants, p.183, Tervedi, P.C., Pointer Publisher, Jodhpur, India.
- Mahesh, B., and Satish, S. (2008). Antimicrobial Activity of Some Important Medicinal Plant against Plant and Human Pathogens. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 4(S), 839-843.
- Satish, S., Mohana, D. C., and Raghvendra, M. P. (2007). Antifungal Activity of Some Plant Extracts against Important Seed Borne Pathogens of Aspergillus Journal of Agricultural Technology, 3(1), 109-119.
- Bachayaa, H. A., Zafar, I., and Nisar, K. M. (2009). Anthelmintic activity of Ziziphus nummularia (bark) and Acacia nilotica (fruit) against Trichostrongylid Nematodes of Sheep. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 123, 325–329.
- Singh, R., and Singh, B. (2008). Anti-Free Radical Activities of Kaempferol Isolated from Acacia nilotica. Toxicology in Vitro, 22(8), 1965–1970.
- Kaur, K., Michael, H., Arora, S. (2005). In Vitro Bioactivity-Guided Fractionation and Characterization of Polyphenolic Inhibitory Fractions from Acacia nilotica. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 99, 353–360.
- Gilani, A. H. (1999). Studies on Antihypertensive and Antispasmodic Activities of Methanol Extract of Acacia nilotica Phytotherapy Research, 13(8), 665-669.
- Ahmad, M. (2008). Antidiabetic and Hypolipidemic Effects of Aqueous Ethanolic Extract of Acacia nilotica Pods in Alloxan-induced Diabetic Rabbits. Scandinavian Journal of Laboratory Animal Science, 35(1).
Achillea millefolium L.
Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium L.
Local Name: Gumandar
Sindhi Name: Gumandar
English Name: Yarrow
Part Used: Whole plant
Achillea millefolium L. is an erect, herbaceous, and perennial plant. Stem has a rhizomatous growth form. Leaves are long, bipinnate or tripinnate, almost feathery, evenly distributed along the stem, and have varying degrees of hairiness. There are 3 to 8 ray flowers which are ovate to round and 15 to 40 disk flowers. Inflorescence is produced in a flat-topped cluster. Fruits are small achenes1.
- millefoliumis native to the northern hemisphere, and Eurasia, but is widely naturalized in the United States. Now it is widely distributed in Asia, such as Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, and the Indian Subcontinent. In Pakistan, it is found in Changla gali, Gilgit, Astor, Deosai, Hazara, Swat, Muree hills, Poonch, and Kashmir. It is also cultivated in garden.
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Women Diseases
Expulsion of Umbilical Cord
Achillea millefolium L. (Yarrow) are ground to make paste. Suppositories are prepared from it and placed intra-vaginally for 5-6 days for expulsion of umbilical cord after dilation and curettage, and childbirth in District Thatta (Sindh).
Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases
- millefolium and Origanum vulgare L. (Oregano) are ground to make paste and tablets are prepared. These tablets are placed intra-vaginally for 3-5 days at night daily for the treatment of pelvic inflammatory diseases in District Thatta (Sindh).
Carotenoids, coumarins, fatty alcohols, hydrocarbons, proteins, protein–carbohydrate complexes, resins, tannins, amino acids, and carbohydrates have been isolated from yarrow plant. Components identified include borneol, bornyl acetate, camphor, 1,8-cineole, eucalyptol, limonene, sabinene, terpineol, and α-thujone, caryophyllene, achillicin, achillin, millefin and millefolide, azulene, chamzulene, and isoartemisia ketone2. The presence of sterols and triterpenols has been reported3. The flavonoids include apigenin, apigenin glycosides, artemetin, casticin, rutin, 5-hydroxy-3,6,7,4¢-tetramethoxyflavone, etc. Alkaloids and other bases include achiceine, achilletin, betain, betonicine, choline, and trigonelline4.
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies
- millefolium is used in the treatment of amenorrhea, gastro-intestinal disorders, dyspepsia, gastritis, menorrhagia, headaches, inflammation, diabetes1, overactive cardiovascular, and respiratory ailments5. It stimulates digestion, and regulates and relieves pain associated with menstruation1. Aerial parts of the plant are used for the treatment of intestinal and female reproductive tract inflammation6. It also expels kidney stones, and is useful in fever7, epilepsy, rheumatism, and cold8.
Various pharmacological properties of A. millefolium have been reported in animal studies, supporting its reputed herbal uses. Yarrow is a non-toxic plant but its volatile oil is contra-indicated in pregnancy. Caution is advised for treating epilepstic person2. A. millefolium exhibits anti-inflammatory, antidiuretic, CNS-depressant, antibacterial, antispasmodic, antipyretic, hypotensive, cytotoxic, astringent2, antioxidant, antimicrobial9, antiphlogistic, hepatoprotective10, and anticoagulant activities11. The crude methanolic extract showed antiplasmodial activity10.
- Khan, A. U., and Gilani, A. H. (2011). Blood Pressure Lowering, Cardiovascular Inhibitory and Bronchodilatory Activites of Achilea milefolium. Phytotherapy Research, 25, 577–583.
- Ivancheva, S., Nikolova, M., and Tsvetkova, R. (2006). Phytochemistry: Advances in Research, 87-103, ISBN: 81-308-0034-9.
- Pullaiah, T. (2006). Encyclopedia of World Medicinal Plants, 1, 38-39. Regency Publications, New Delhi, India.
- Daniel, M. (2006). Medicinal Plants -Chemistry and Properties, p.83. Primlani, M., Oxford and IBH Publisher, New Delhi, India.
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Acorus calamus L.
Botanical Name: Acorus calamus L.
Local Name: Gur Bach
Sindhi Name: Kini kathi
English Name: Sweet flag, Calamus
Part Used: Whole plant
Acorus calamus L. is a semi aquatic and perennial herb with creeping and branched rhizomes1. The plant grows up to 40 cm in height. Erect leaves are yellowish green in color and about 2 to 3 feet in length2. Flowers are cylindrical in shape, and found in densely packed spadix inflorescence. Fruits are berry like with few seeds1.
- calamus is indigenous to India and Pakistan but is also found in Europe, southern Russia, northern Asia Minor, southern Siberia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Australia. In Pakistan, it is found in temperate hilly areas of Hazara, Dir, Swat, Chitral, Jhalwan, and Azad Kashmir at an altitude of 1,850 and 2,500 metres in marshy places.
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Women Diseases
Dysmenorrhea, Infertility, and Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases
Acorus calamus L. (Sweet flag), Lallemantia royleana Benth. (Black psyllium), Anethum sowa Roxb. (Dill), Origanum vulgare L. (Oregano), Tamarindus indica L. (Tamarind), Elettaria cardamomum Maton. (Green cardamom), Trigonella foenum–graecum L. (Fenugreek), mosfai*, red earth, Embelia robusta Roxb. (Embelia), Phaseolus vulgaris L. (French bean), gondo*, Gossypium arboreum L. (Cotton), and Mentha piperita L. (Peppermint) are taken in equal quantities, and mashed to make powder. Vaginal suppositories are prepared from it and used for the treatment of infertility in District Kamber (Sindh). In the same district, these suppositories are placed for 6-8 nights regularly are also used for the treatment of pelvic inflammatory diseases as well as dysmenorrhea.
Dysmenorrhea and Leucorrhea
- calamus, Origanum vulgare (Oregano), sufaid wal*, kali wal*, and rock salt are crushed to a fine powder. The powder is then mixed with some water and converted into small tablet. The tablet is advised to place it intra-vaginally in the morning and removed at night. The treatments are continued for 10 days. The same remedy is used for the treatment of leucorrhea.
- Powder of calamus, Anethum sowa (Dill), and Helicteres isora L. (Indian screw) are taken in equal amount, and kneaded with clarified butter to make intra-vaginal tablets. These tablets are prescribed for the treatment of infertility in District Thatta (Sindh).
- Equal amount of calamus, Anethum sowa (Dill), Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium), Origanum vulgare (Oregano), Cannabis sativa L. (Marijuana), Embelia robusta (Embelia), and Phaseolus vulgaris (French beans) are ground, and mixed with some water to make marble size tablets. A tablet is placed intra-vaginally for 10-12 days in the morning and removed at night. This remedy is used for the treatment of infertility in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
- calamus, Cannabis sativa (Marijauna) leaves, peel of Punica granatum L. (Pomegranate), Trigonella foenum–graecum (Fenugreek seeds), Anethum sowa (Dill), Tamarindus indica (Tamarind), Salvia plebeian R. Brown. (Sage weed), Withania coagulans Dunal. (Vegetable rennet), Terminalia chebula Retz. (Black myrobalau), and jaggery are ground to make paste. It is used to prepare vaginal suppositories and placed intra-vaginally for 3 nights regularly for the treatment of infertility in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- Ground calamus, Cannabis sativa (Marijauna) leaves, Origanum vulgare (Oregano), gawatho* (Purchased from pansar), Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. (Bitter apple), Mentha piperita (Peppermint), Anethum sowa (Dill), Tamarindus indica (Tamarind), mosfai, and Salvia plebeia (Sage weed) together are used to make paste. It is placed intra-vaginally in the morning and removed at night after periods for 3 days regularly. This remedy is used for the treatment of infertility in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- Small piece of calamus is placed intra-vaginally for the treatment of infertility in District Sanghar (Sindh).
Menstruation Problem and Strengthening of Uterus
Mixture of A. calamus, mojotal*, mosfa*, soap stone, Embelia ribes Burm. f. (False black pepper), Morus acidosa Griff. (Mulberry), Tamarindus indica (Tamarind), Holarrhena antidysenterica L. (Tellichery bark and coneru), Origanum vulgare (Oregano), Salvia plebeia (English plebeian), Cassia angustifolia L. (Indian senna), Withania coagulans (Vegetable rennet), Allium cepa L. (Onion), Prunus amygdalus Batsch. (Almond), chowe oil*, Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. (Nickernuts), crystals sugar, and zalanani khal* are powdered, and converted into intra-vaginally tablets that is used for the treatment of menstrual problem as well as strengthening of uterus in District Thatta (Sindh).
Shrinking of Abdominal Size after Childbirth
Fresh leaves of Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium) are mashed and mixed with grounded A. calamus, Azadirachta indica J. Juss. (Margose), Acorus calamus (Sweet flag), samoori*, and brown sugar. Intra-vaginal tablet are prepared from it and used for shrinking the abdominal size after childbirth in District Dadu (Sindh).
Equal quantities of A. calamus, Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium), Anethum sowa (Dill), Origanum vulgare (Oregano), and Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom) are mashed to make paste. It is taken orally for the treatment of leucorrhea in District Jacobabad (Sindh). In this paste, Cannabis sativa (Marijuana) is added to make tablets, and placed intra-vaginally for 4 days for same purpose.
- Equal amount of calamus, Anethum sowa (Dill), Origanum vulgare (Oregano), Cannabis sativa (Marijuana), Embelia robusta (Embelia), and Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom) are ground, and mixed with butter to make intra-vaginal tablets, used for the treatment of dyspareunia in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
- Equal quantities of Foeniculum vulgare dulce. (Fennel), Cannabis sativa (Marijuana), and A. calamus are ground, and mixed with mashed fresh leaves of Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium) to make tablets and placed intra-vaginally for 3 days at night regularly for the treatment of dyspareunia in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- Equal quantities of fresh leaves of Anethum sowa (Dill), Mentha piperita (Peppermint), Cannabis sativa (Marijuana), and calamus are mashed to make paste, and placed intra-vaginally in the form of suppositories for 6-7 days in the morning and removed at night. It is also placed intra-anally for 3 days. This is used for the treatment of dyspareunia in District Kashmore (Sindh).
Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases
- calamus, Cicer arietinum L. (Chickpea), Anethum sowa (Dill), Origanum vulgare (Oregano), Embelia robusta (Embelia), Phaseolus vulgaris (French bean), Tamarindus indica (Tamarind), Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), Salvia plebeian (Sage weed), sonu ghero*, Citrullus colocynthis (Bitter apple), Holarrhena antidysenterica (Tellichery bark and coneru), mosfai*, and red earth are ground in equal quantities to make suppositories, and placed intra-vaginally at night for 3 day, if symptoms persist it is continued for 3 weeks. The remedy is used for the treatment of pelvic inflammatory diseases in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
- calamus, Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), Amomum subulatum Roxb. (Black cardamom), Withania coagulans (Vegetable rennet), ghorawal, and slug of Mentha piperita (Peppermint) are fried in 100 g butter, and then soaked jaggery is added to make an oral drink called “Tringh”. Tringh is taken one cup thrice a day for a week for the treatment of pelvic inflammatory diseases in District Kashmore (Sindh).
Contraception and Leucorrhea
- calamus, sat sutyoon (purchased from pansar), Cuminum cyminum (Cumin), Peganum harmala L. (Harmal), Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), Berberis vulgaris L. (European barberry), and mar mushik* are ground to make a powder. A tablespoon of the powder is taken orally twice a day for 3 days for the treatment of leucorrhea as well as act as contraceptive agent in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
Strengthening of Uterus, Leucorrhea, and Infertility
Ground A. calamus, Pinus gerardiana Wall. ex D. Don. (Pinus), dried Cocos nucifera (Coconut), Anethum sowa (Dill), candy sugar, Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel), Mentha piperita (Peppermint), sinyar*, jaggery, Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Liquorice), Quercus infectoria Olivier. (Gall oak), crystal sugar, Punica granatum (Pomegranate), mosfa*, Rosa indica L. (Rose), Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), dakh*, and mustard oil together, and small suppositories are prepared. It is placed intra-vaginally once a day for three days for the treatment of leucorrhea and infertility in District Jamshoro (Sindh). This remedy is also used for strengthening of uterus.
- Ground calamus, Curcuma longa L. (Turmeric), Symplocos racemosa Roxb. (Lodh), Salvia plebeia (Sage weed), Origanum vulgare (Oregano), and Trachyspermum ammi (Carom) into a fine powder to make suppositories, placed intra-vaginally twice a day for 3 days for the treatment of dysmenorrhea in District Tando Allahyar (Sindh).
- Small piece of calamus is placed intra-vaginally at night for 3 days for the treatment of dysmenorrhea in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- Ground calamus, Anethum sowa (Dill), Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), Amomum subulatum (Black cardamom), Cannabis sativa (Marijuana), Mentha piperita (Peppermint), Terminalia chebula (Black myrobalan), Terminalia bellirica (Belliric myrobalan), and zaifan wari sutti (Purchased from pansar) to make powder. This powder is then mixed with Withania coagulans (Vegetable rennet) and jaggery, to prepare vaginal suppositories, and placed intra-vaginally for 11 nights regularly for the treatment of dysmenorrhea in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- Ground fresh leaves of Cannabis sativa (Marijauna), Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium), and Acorus calamus (Sweet flag) to make tablets It is placed intra-vaginally at night and removed in the morning during last 3 days of periods for the treatment of dysmenorrhea in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- Ground calamus, Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), fresh leaves of Cannabis sativa (Marijauna), Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium), and Mentha piperita (Peppermint) to make suppositories. It is placed intra-vaginally in the morning and removed after 2 days for the treatment of dysmenorrhea in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- calamus, Myristica fragrans Houtt. (Nutmeg), slug of Mentha piperita (Peppermint), Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium), Cannabis sativa (Marijuana), and jaggery are mashed, and mixed with some water to make vaginal suppositories for the treatment of dysmenorrhea in District Kashmore (Sindh).
Vaginal suppositories are prepared by grinding A. calamus, Cannabis sativa (Marijauna) leaves, Anethum sowa (Dill), Amomum subulatum (Black cardamom), Mentha piperita (Peppermint), and crystal sugar. Suppositories are placed intra-vaginally for 10 days in the morning and removed at night for the treatment of fibroid uterus in District Kashmore (Sindh).
Infertility and Menorrhagia
Equal quantities of fresh leaves of A. calamus, Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium), and Cannabis sativa (Marijuana) are mashed to make paste. It is placed intra-vaginally for the treatment of infertility as well as polymenorrhea in District Kashmore (Sindh).
Polymenorrhea and Menorrhagia
Ground A. calamus, Embelia robusta (Embelia), Phaseolus vulgaris (French bean), chori bhata*, Tamarindus indica (Tamarind), Salvia plebeia (Sage weed), Mentha piperita (Peppermint), Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), Cuminum cyminum (Cumin), Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel), Withania coagulans (Vegetable rennet), and flowers of Rosa indica (Rose) are fried in butter, and then some water is added to make a drink called “Tringh”. Tringh is prescribed for the treatment of menorrhagia and polymenorrhea in District Kashmore (Sindh).
- calamus, Cannabis sativa (Marijauna) leaves, Elettaria cardamomum (Green cardamom), leaves of Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium), Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel), and Mentha piperita (Peppermint) are ground, and then boiled in some water. This water is consumed orally for the treatment of scanty menses in District Kashmore (Sindh).
Post partum Hemorrhage and Prevention of Miscarriage
Equal quantities of fresh leaves of A. calamus, Lallemantia royleana (Black psyllium), Mentha piperita (Peppermint), and Cannabis sativa (Marijuana) are ground to make a paste, and taken orally for post partum hemorrhage in District Kashmore (Sindh). This paste is also used to prepare suppositories, placed intra-vaginally at night and removed in the morning for 3 days for the prevention of miscarriage in same District.%